Christmas, 2000 / No. 4

Place me next to God

On your wrought-iron bookshelf

In the corner

In the dark

I’ll be safe there


My how the grass has grown

Over both our heads

Lost in my own backyard

And grazing like cattle

I hadn’t eaten since Easter

Not bathed since I became afraid of water

Even rain

And the liquid I’m pouring down my throat

In handfuls, bucketfuls

I heard a voice last night

From the sky

Fell into my head like snow

Freezing all my dreams

All my hopes of closing my eyes

In the comfort of someone’s warm embrace

At the drugstore I bought a sedative

At the second-hand store I bought a surrogate lover

A poster of one of my heroes reclining on the hood

Of a blue Chevy pickup truck

I took him home, pinned him to the wall

Blew him kisses

Blew the candle flame across the curtains

Warmed my hands over the fire

Watched my heart go up in flames

Alexandra Leggat is the author of The Incomparables and a teacher of creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Her short story collection Animal was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award. She first contributed to the magazine in 2000. Last updated fall, 2022.